Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Will Eating Less Meat Curb Global Warming?

The fledgling science of global warming is fraught with simplistic solutions and competing political interests. Should a vegetarian economist be the world’s leading authority on global warming?

Environment editor,Juliette Jowit, of the Guardian has written that “the world’s leading authority on global warming, ” an economist who happens to be a vegetarian, has suggested that people should sacrifice by eating one meat-free day a week to tackle climate change.

Dr Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, wants to completely change human eating habits as well as bring about “other changes in lifestyle” including “reductions in every sector of the economy.”

“Give up meat for one day [a week] initially, and decrease it from there . . .”

Meat production has been targeted because the U.N. has estimated that “meat production accounts for nearly a fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions.”

Cows emit methane, a potent greenhouse gas, which according to the UN, “is 23 times more effective as a global warming agent than carbon dioxide.”

The U.N.’s figures and assumptions have been disputed by the UK’s Food Climate Research Network and others in the meat production industry.

Graham Harvey, also of the Guardian, has written today that Pachauri’s argument is flawed.

"What matters is not the amount of meat we eat – but the way it's produced.”

Harvey presents a case against “the agribusiness companies who have hijacked it [meat production].” He targets grain traders, pesticide manufacturers and oil companies that are all making huge profits worldwide from the grain industry.

“Grain-growing depletes the soil of nutrients and releases huge amounts of soil carbon into the atmosphere, hastening climate change.”

On the other hand, Harvey argues, livestock grazing on fresh pasture or conserved grass would stabilize the environment rather than hasten climate change.

An article by Plenty “The world in Green, “ supports Harvey’s argument.

"In an excellent article posted at WorldChanging, Jay Walljasper writes about several innovative ranchers who are using holistic thinking to turn a potential greenhouse liability (methane-producing cattle) into something that can sequester carbon.”

Plenty also cites Carbon Farmers of America for farmers who want to use their grazing animals to sequester carbon.

Originally published in Digital Journal September 8, 2008


  1. Just think how bad the methane from the cows would be if folks didn't eat them.
    I really have to ask every time I read of some nonsense like this, are these folks for real?

    I'll do my share to help wipe out these methane creating creatures. I'll take mine cooked medium please, with a side of baked potato and salad, large sweet tea with extra lemon to drink please.






    This post made just to see if I could really make like a mmonbat!! LMAO...

  3. Crazy people get publicity too. I'm ready for a big juicy steak, New York Strip!

    Debbie Hamilton
    Right Truth

  4. In listening to the radio this morning. They had on the ex CEO of GE. His opinion on going "Green" was that as a manager he would jump on the bandwagon and go with it. Even with the possibility of it becoming a hoax. If helps force companies make better products and healthier things. Their is no downside in the end. Other then it was a misleading fad.

    I personaly don't chase after fads. But I'm a skinny white boy and don't want to lose red meat because I do labor work. Ha.

    I went to your first digital journal article. Nicely done. Every year I get older the more I get tired of "if your'e white and christian" you are automaticly all kinds of bad and don't have a right to speak and all that. Europe's dilema of becoming muslim is a knowm fact now. And the white population here grows at a slower pace then the minorities. But Erurope is in worse shape. Well, much could be said. It is plainly "A Sad Thing".

    Keep up the great work!

  5. arloray thanks so much for the compliment on my Digital Journal article. As we can see, there is a downside to the Green fad. Thanks for sharing that CEO's opinion. I'm afraid much of corporate America shares his views.

  6. I somewhat agree with the idea... fullreply.com/m